Every son needs a father; every mentor needs to also be a mentee; and every pastor needs other pastors feeding into his life. Hopefully you have other leaders in your life to encourage you in your ongoing walk through ministry, but it’s also a great idea to at least once a year find a pastors’ conference where you can get away, relax a little, spend time with peers in the ministry, and get new ideas to implement in your own church. I would strongly encourage you to find out today what pastors’ conferences come to your area or at least somewhere you don’t mind traveling to, but here are five to help you get started in your search:
Jacksonville Pastors’ Conference:
When: Usually in January of each year
Where: Jacksonville, Florida
Overview: The intention behind the Jacksonville Pastor’s Conference is to encourage you in your ministry and send you home refreshed, renewed, energized, and eager to apply new ideas to your ministry. Previous speakers include: Al Mohler, Franklin Graham, J.D. Greear, Johnny Hunt, Luis Palau, Matt Carter, and Voddie Baucham.
For more information: www.jaxpastorsconference.com
Moody Pastors’ Conference:
When: Late spring/early summer
Where: Chicago, Illinois
Overview: Through some of the most gifted communicators of God’s Word, powerful worship, skilled workshop leaders and fellowship with 1,000 fellow pastors, this conference is a week that can transform your entire life!
For more information: www.moodyconferences.com
Where: Multiple locations in U.S.
Overview: Catalyst unifies change makers—equipping you with impactful content and experiences that transform thinking, provoke action and cultivate community. They’re challenging leaders who love the church to break the bounds of an ordinary existence and find the courage to embrace and radiate bold change.
For more information: www.catalystconferencecom
Where: Multiple locations in U.S.
Overview: 9Marks exists to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources for displaying God’s glory to the nations through healthy churches. To that end, they want to see churches characterized by these nine marks of health: preaching, biblical theology, the gospel, conversion, evangelism, membership, discipline, discipleship, and leadership
For more information: www.9marks.org/events
Where: Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas
Overview: C3 Conference is a gathering of men and women from all walks of life and areas of influence ready to bring a new level of excellence to their church and hope to their community. Challenge yourself and your team to 48 hours that will elevate your leadership, equip you with practical tools for real ministry, and expand your vision for where God has called you.
For more information: www.c3conference.com
There is not a shortage of pastors’ conferences today. If none of these five will work for you, I implore you to seek out recommendations from pastors you respect and look for one to put on the calendar as soon as possible. Never underestimate the importance of learning from your peers in the ministry and inviting God to challenge you by exposing you to ideas you would not typically learn on your own.
Kevin Harvey is the author of two books, his most recent being All You Need to Know about the Bible in Pop Culture. He also writes at BibleInPopCulture.com and can be found on Twitter under the handle @PopCultureKevin.